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Building a successful newsletter. Part I (Operation Antispam)

Do you want to create a successful newsletter? Then take a look at Spam messages and do everything to the opposite.

  • Spammers send out their messages to anybody whose e-mail they can get, without asking their permission.Start out your newsletter small. Use permission based system (sometimes called opt-in or double opt-in). And make sure you target a narrow audience for example wine lovers, avid skiers, teens, etc.

  • Spam is often called junk mail since the content of the messages is of no value. Provide quality content that you have expertise in. Choose the topic that you know best. For example, "recipes" is too broad - there are a lot of quality sites that have traditional recipes as well as non-traditional ones. Better choice would be "vegan recipes for the pregnant", but only if you are a practicing dietitian who knows all about vegan dishes.

  • Spammers have to send out huge amount of e-mails to make money.

There are two types of newsletters that make money - big ones, like LockerGnome or TechTV, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and small ones. Here are some real life examples. One person has a "3D Models for the Games" newsletter that has less then 500 subscribers. But since they are all game designers, producers, programmers and so on - he gets about $800 of extra income each month from consulting fees and special orders.

Here is another example. A buddy of mine is a PPC consultant with a newsletter that has only about 200 subscribers. PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, this is a term for a certain type online advertisement. Here is the essence - buying general keywords (such as "travel", "hotel", "airfare") can be very expensive $0.5-$1.5 per click. He picks keyphrases that are just as effective for a given business, but cost much less. For example a keyphase "place to stay in Los Angeles" costs only five cents. Naturally, it generate less traffic then "hotels! " or "California hotels", so he has to come up with 10-20 other phrases. His consultation costs $100. The response rate to the newsletter is 5%. That means that on average he makes $5 from each subscriber.

Spammers earn $1 for every 50000 messages they send out. Which do you think is better for you?

Next week: Building a successful newsletter. Part II (Integrating newsletter with other advertising methods)
Prev week:
Acronyms in e-mails- what they are and where they came from

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